Sixers vs. Spurs: Joel Embiid has a highlight-packed night

A crushing Joel Embiid led the Sixers to their sixth straight victory Friday night at the Wells Fargo Center.

Embiid had 31 points, 12 rebounds and seven assists in the team’s 119-100 win over Spurs. The Sixers are 22-16 and can win a seventh straight game, the best of the season, when they face the Rockets on Monday in Houston.

Seth Curry and Tobias Harris each scored 23 points.

Dejounte Murray registered 27 points and nine assists.

The Sixers were down Tyrese Maxey, Jaden Springer, Paul Reed (health and safety protocols), Shake Milton (back contusion), Isaiah Joe (back pain) and Ben Simmons (personal reasons).

Michael Scotto from HoopsHype reported on Friday that the Sixers plan to keep Reed for the remainder of the season and fully guarantee his salary. Reed is expected to earn around $ 1.52 million in the 2021-2022 campaign, per Spotrac.

San Antonio head coach Gregg Popovich said ahead of the game that he did not know half of the names of his players. Among the main Spurs due to health and safety protocols were Keldon Johnson, Devin Vassell, Derrick White and Doug McDermott.

Here are some observations on the Sixers’ victory over the exhausted Spurs:

Embiid a class above

The Sixers started off with some great action that produced a Harris layup. Harris made an Iverson cut, then rushed out the backdoor instead of going all the way to the right wing, and Embiid punched him in stride.

Embiid provided another assist a few minutes later, finding Thybulle for a dunk before a double San Antonio team could make an impact. Thybulle (12 points on 5v5 shots, two interceptions) returned on Friday after two games sidelined due to COVID-19 protocols.

Speaking of shrewd passes, a dime over Embiid’s shoulder at Thybulle in the second quarter wasn’t bad.

As is often the case with Embiid, it was immediately evident that he was superior to everyone on the pitch. He shot two fouls on Jakob Poeltl in two minutes, causing Popovich to have a quick time-out. An Embiid fadeaway rider put the Sixers ahead 20-7. He took nine shots on goal in the first quarter, while Spurs took none.

Embiid was also quick at the start of the defense. He kept Murray on a switch and stopped the Spurs goalie from creating space; Murray ended up committing a top-down violation.

Even after the Sixers took a large lead, Embiid was not in a merciful mood. He narrowly missed a dunk late in the second period against Drew Eubanks before throwing one on Jock Landale.

In the third quarter, Embiid added two more fierce dunks to the highlight reel.

For those prone to nit-picking, Embiid lost a few bounce battles and settled for a few fadeaway jumpers. However, what is much more relevant is that he has played MVP level basketball since he shot 3 for 17 on December 1 in Boston.

“You can kind of see the fear in the eyes of the defenders,” Harris said. “When a guy is that big and strong and able to take shots… he’s a bodyguard in a center. He does good moves, great footwork all around – his skill, his touch, shoot the ball. For the guys keeping it, it’s like, what can you do? ”

Fourth trimester injuries are scary

Furkan Korkmaz was once again among the Sixers’ primary ball handlers without Maxey and Milton. Curry and Harris also continued to bring the ball to the ground.

These two were scorching to start the game as the two opened 6 for 7 from the floor. Curry was gentle and confident, pulling on the sweaters easily. Harris did much of his damage in and around the painting.

“The only play call (for Harris) was the first play of the game. … Other than that he’s got a good pace right now, ”Rivers said. “He plays fast. You don’t see the ball sticking to his hands; these are quick decisions. When he does that, he’s really good.

The Sixers have had a few lulls. San Antonio reduced their deficit to 43-34 in the second quarter and Andre Drummond was penalized for three fouls in his first six minutes. Murray started early in the third and almost single-handedly reduced the Sixers’ half-time lead from 18 points to 12.

Korkmaz appeared to have injured his hand in the fourth quarter and made it to the locker room with head athletic coach Kevin Johnson, although he eventually returned to the game.

Curry limped over to the bench with 6:07 left, and Embiid had a noticeable limp about 30 seconds later. The result was not yet completely cemented and the two remained in the game. A three-point shot from Danny Green with 3:52 remaining extended the Sixers’ lead to 110-94 and allowed the team to breathe a little easier.

Brown flashes in front of Philly fans

Charlie Brown Jr. made his hometown team debut late in the first period and had a pleasant first stint.

The Saint Joseph’s product, who has a tough 10-day contract, gave the Sixers a 33-14 lead with a layup and one in transition. He later recovered two interceptions and looked nimble defensively. The 24-year-old had another positive play in the third quarter, grabbing an offensive rebound and throwing the ball to Curry for a three-point shot.

Brown’s brilliant 12 minutes don’t say anything deep about his NBA future one way or another, but it was a good night for a local kid.

“My agent called… and I was a little shocked,” he said after Friday’s shoot. “I didn’t know I would be able to play for my home team. It’s all love. I am blessed to be here. I am blessed to be with these guys and to grow up.

Two-time D-League All-Star Curry liked what he saw of Brown.

“It’s a tough situation,” Curry said. “He came in and brought a lot of energy. That’s the key, to come in and try to make your presence felt on the pitch. Most of the time that won’t be done by scoring the ball, so you have to try to do small things. First, do your job defensively.

“And then try to make little plays, like he did with offensive rebounds, cutting, coming out in transition. This is what you have to do. You have to find your baskets without the games being called for you. He did a good job coming in, being long, being active and giving us a boost. “

Braxton Key, another former Delaware Blue Coat on a tough contract, made his NBA debut during the garbage days. Two-way player Aaron Henry scored his first NBA basket.

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